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Robbie Drummond

Just over two months after Jonathan Hinckles quit 'with immediate effect' as CEO of Scotland's airline Loganair and just over a week after Ferguson Marine's chief executive David Tydeman had his contract terminated, CalMac Ferries CEO Robbie Drummond is "stepping down with immediate effect."

The official statement says:"Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd. (CalMac) Board takes the responsibility of delivering the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service (CHFS) contract extremely seriously.

"It recognises that the island communities served by CalMac have faced real challenges over this past year. These challenges are likely set to continue until new vessels are introduced to the fleet over the coming years.

"In this context, the Board wants to strengthen the focus further on operational performance of an aging fleet, resilience and enhanced dialogue and responsiveness with the customers and the communities CalMac serves.

"As a consequence, the Board has reviewed the Executive Leadership of the organisation to ensure that it is best placed to achieve that during some challenging years ahead. As part of that review, current CEO Robbie Drummond is stepping down with immediate effect. The Board thanks Robbie for his efforts and wishes Robbie well in his future endeavours.

Duncan Mackison, former CEO of CalMac Holding Company, David MacBrayne Ltd, has been appointed interim CEO until a permanent successor has been appointed. Mackison has more than 25 years experience in senior executive roles at MD and CEO level responsible for the delivery of complex outsourced service contracts to government and local government customers in a variety of sectors including transport, defence, property and technology. He has significant experience in leading service transformation and change working for companies such as G4S, Serco, Buccleuch Group David Macbrayne and Biffa, with responsibility for annual contract income values up to £400m and staff numbers up to 5,000. Educated at The Glasgow Academy, his early career was as an officer in the Royal Marines.

Robbie Drummond has worked in a variety of senior finance roles across business services, technology and transport sectors. These include Invocas plc, HBoS plc, Thus plc, PricewaterhouseCoopers (Corporate Finance) and KPMG. He is a member of Transport Scotland's Smart and Integrated Transport Committee; the Scottish Government's Information Systems Investment Board; and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry Committee (Highlands and Islands). He is also a member of ICAS and the Institute of Directors.

Responding to the news that Robbie Drummond was to step down, Scottish Liberal Democrat economy spokesperson Willie Rennie MSP said: “Another week, another resignation but still no SNP minister is carrying the can for the ferry chaos.

“CalMac have had to cope with an ageing fleet and delayed new ferries thanks to the SNP Government."

The Ferries Community Board have noted the resignation of Robbie Drummond. They state: "We understand this would have been a difficult decision for Mr. Drummond given his involvement and commitment to the company over the last number of years. This was during a time when lack of investment in vessels made service delivery extremely difficult and created unprecedented impacts on our islands.

"The Ferries Community Board have consistently asked for a change of approach from top management at CalMac to be more islanders and community centred. This will only be achieved by changing the culture of the organisations in terms of policy, structure and strategic decision making. The best route to improving decision making and communication is to fully involve islanders, communities and build again a service designed around the needs of these communities.

"We will continue to push decision makers on these issues and constructively work  to bring these improvements.

"If we are to get the best outcomes of the investment in new vessels and infrastructure, these changes must be made."

(Additional quotes and comments have been added since this was first published).